Upgrading my iPhone 3G to iOS4

iPhone OS4 - iBooksAs you are no doubt aware, a major update for the iPhone/iPod Touch operating system was released by Apple last week. The first day it was released, I downloaded the large update file (almost 300 megabytes) and attempted to install it overnight on my iPhone 3G. Unfortunately, when I woke up in the morning, I was confronted with an iTunes error indicating that the backup was not completed successfully.

Later that evening, I tried again. I started trying to update around 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening, and finally cancelled the process around 11 p.m., having made very little progress in the backup process.

I tried a few more times over the next few days, and kept experiencing a similar problem. At one point, Windows decided to restart itself in the middle of the backup process because Windows updates had been installed.

Finally, overnight last night, I modified my Windows power settings, making sure that my computer would not go to sleep for at least four hours (just in case that was the issue) and attempted the update one more time.

iPhone Firmware 3.1.2 Released

On Thursday, Apple released the 3.1.2 version of the iPhone firmware. The new release supposedly fixes a major bug found in version 3.1 that caused the iPhone to fall asleep and not wake up, requiring the user to reset the phone in order to get it working again. The update also supposedly fixes a video streaming issue (I never noticed this issue) and some cellular connectivity issues.

There is no word as to whether or not this update will address the battery problems iPhone users have been experiencing since the 3.1 update or not.

Is Being “Smart (DJ)” Better Than Being “Genius”?

software_smartdj_quickplayAs most people probably know, Apple’s iTunes media player includes a feature known as “Genius,” which attempts to look at your collection and create playlists of related music for you. However, they may not realize that the new version of the Zune desktop software includes a similar (on the surface, at least) feature known as “Smart DJ.”

Being completely open, here, I can’t stand using iTunes for many reasons, so I’ve only very gently used the Genius feature. Therefore, I’m not going spend too much time in this post comparing the two services; I’m just going to outline the properties of the new Smart DJ feature, and hope that some of our readers will fill in the gaps as to whether or not they are available in the iTunes Genius mode. From what I’ve heard from people that have used both, though, the Smart DJ feature seems to be much more intelligent than Genius.

Web Development for the iPhone

I am now attending a session on developing Web applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The presenter is Steve VanBrackle. Unfortunately, I have already discovered that this session is going to be completely dependent upon a Mac program called DashCode, for which there appears to be no Windows alternative. The interface for DashCode appears insanely easy to use, though.

To begin, VanBrackle simply created a new project. A working shell app was immediately created for him to edit and customize. All of the buttons, bars, etc. are automatically generated as part of the app.

He is now demonstrating how simple it is to click and drag information from a data store into the app. For the most part, it’s creating a JSON file to generate the data that’s being displayed in the application. Because of this format, it is easy to create the app a single time and then replace the data without having to redo everything.

At this point, he’s showing us how to add new buttons to the application, once again using click and drag interfaces. Once he places the button, a dialog appears presenting him with the choice of various event handlers that are available on the iPhone with buttons. By clicking one of the event handlers and typing the name of a function, a new, empty function is automatically created in the code window, allowing him to insert his custom code into the function.

Rackspace Buying Customers’ Mac Upgrades

Rackspace logoRackspace announced today that they will pay for up to 1,000 licenses to upgrade their customers’ Macintosh computers to the latest version of Snow Leopard. If you sign up for a Rackspace account with Exchange server e-mail service, Rackspace will pay for each license you need to purchase in order to get your Macs upgraded to work with Exchange.

Apple Releases Snow Leopard

The latest version of Apple’s operating system will be available in two days (Aug. 28, 2009) and an upgrade can be purchased for $29. The full version runs only $49, which is still less than even the most simple commercial applications you would normally purchase. Of course, in order to use OSX Snow Leopard, you have to have an Intel Mac, so you’ve most likely already paid considerably more than you should have for your hardware. Therefore, the low price of the operating system probably still doesn’t offset the hardware costs.

I have to admit that I’m a little confused about why they are even offering a full version of the operating system. Are there really people out there that own Intel Macs without the Macintosh operating system already installed? I suppose there’s a remote possibility that people are still running Tiger rather than Leopard, but with Snow Leopard not supporting old PowerPC Macs, I suspect the possibility is rather remote.

Wired has posted a list of six important tips that people will need to know before upgrading to the new OS. I find the list very interesting, considering the warnings included in the post are very similar to the major complaints people have had about both Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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